BlackSeaRama Pro-Am 2011
CRAIG PHILLIPS (pictured below speaking at the prize presentation) unexpectedly found himself the winner of the 3rd PAC Doverie BlackSeaRama Pro-Am in Bulgaria when the American Jesse Abshire was disqualified.
Clifftop golf, at the mercy of the elements, on a testing Gary Player-designed course, made it a high-scoring day and Phillips was able to claim first place despite a four-over-par round of 76 to add to his 66-70.
Like Phillips and the rest of the field, ANDREW SHERBORNE struggled to achieve the sub-par scores but finished runner-up, also with a round of 76.
Last year’s winner NEIL CHEETHAM also had a struggle of a final day in falling from four under par to one over after birdies on the opening two holes to go six under at that stage. At that stage a repeat performance of 2010 was no doubt at the back of his mind. But then it all went wrong…By the turn he had leaked four strokes to go back to two under and that proved to be the pattern from then on in.
Another to find his score heading in the wrong direction was SHANE McHENRY. After a birdie on the first, he lost five shots before the turn including a double-bogey on the eighth hole to attach a destructive 76 to his 71-72 opening two rounds for a three over par total.
Final Scores – Click Here
After a slightly wobbly start, in which he dropped strokes at the second and third holes, following a birdie at the first, CRAIG PHILLIPS, was pretty much untroubled from then on as he preserved a three-shot lead going into the third and final round of the BlackSeaRama Pro-Am.
By the turn he had recovered from his shaky two-hole spell to shave a further stroke off par for his total and from then on it was a case of one dropped shot and two birdies on the return nine, for an eight-under 36-holes of 136 and a three stroke margin on the rest of the field.
If he maintains the consistency and confidence of the opening two rounds as he heads for the finishing line on the Gary Player-designed clifftop course of scenic beauty and golfing excellence it will take a spectacular 18 holes from one of his diminishing band of pursuers to catch him.
Closest to him on 139 is a new name on the leaderboard of PGAs of Europe-endorsed events in JESSE ABSHIRE who carded a two-under par 70 to add to his opening 69. Abshire is an American who has played on the Czech PGA Tour and clearly a player of some calibre.
Another fine day’s scoring saw him claim six birdies, spread across his round at the 1st, 3rd, 9th, 11th,14th and 17th holes but punctuated by bogeys at 8 and 15 and a slightly card-spoiling double bogey at the troublesome part-three 18th.
However, as he challenged brilliantly for a leading place going into the last day, he could reflect on another hole that caused him greatest grief, namely the par-four fifteenth, on which he dropped a stroke each day. With water beckoning any pushed tee-shot and a very precise second shot required for a two-putt par he was not the only player to have a problem or two there.
Last year’s winner, NEIL CHEETHAM placed himself in a handy place to overtake Phillips – especially if the leader were to falter – with a second round of 70 to finish on four under, alongside ANDREW SHERBORNE. This was achieved via an inspired return nine when he birdied four of the final six holes, though a dropped shot at the 16th took a little of the shine off it.
Sherborne brought to bear all of the steely experience gained in some 20 years on the European Tour, (a lengthy journey that brought him two victories) with fifteen pars, two birdies and a bogey for a 71 and a four-under-par total.
Latest Scores – Click Here
A run of four successive birdies from the second hole catapulted CRAIG PHILLIPS into an early lead in the PGAs of Europe-endorsed 54-hole BlackSeaRama Pro-Am in Bulgaria and, despite a disappointing dropped shot on the par-three final hole, he never let go in finishing the day three strokes ahead of the field..
His fine opening six-under-par sixty-six, including six birdies and an eagle three at the par-five 17th, took him clear of the experienced ANDREW SHERBORNE on three under par and last year’s winner, NEIL CHEETHAM who was one stroke further back.
Phillips, Director of Golf at Nuneaton GC in Warwickshire UK, had an unblemished four-under-par front nine but slipped up a shade with a dropped shot at the par-five eleventh before that eagle three on the penultimate hole ensured that he kept his comfortable margin.
With a string of regional titles and other tournament wins to his name Phillips has branched out impressively in the wider sphere of his profession as Warwickshire PGA chairman, Midland region vice-chairman, and also as rules official and tournament referee on the Ladies European Tour and the Europro Tour.
He is also the Warwickshire County short-game coach, a role he well justified by the manner in which he negotiated the tricky cliff-side BSR course for his challenging opening round.
Sherborne was off to a flyer with a first-hole birdie four, then bogeyed the 6th to be level at the turn. His charge in search of the lead took off at the 10th, a birdie three, and this led to a golden spell from the 12th when he carded birdie three, par three, birdie three, birdie three. But then, like Phillips, he dropped a shot at the par three final hole.
Jesse Abshire joined Sherborne in joint-second place with a two-under-par back nine for a matching 69, pushing Cheetham back a place.
BlackSeaRama Pro-Am offers two Gary Player Courses
The annual Bulgaria-based pro-am, with its increasing popularity, will be staged as the 3rd BlackSeaRama “POK Doverie” Pro-Am 2011 at the spectacular location with its Gary Player courses, over 54 holes on July 27th-30th.
“Following its two previous successful events at BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas we now, for the 3rd consecutive year, have the pleasure to invite you to this year’s edition,” said director of golf, Neil Turley.
This year the Thracian Cliffs (left), the newest Gary Payer course at the Black Sea coast, and sister course to BlackSeaRama, will hold a challenge day on Thursday 28th July with special competition formats for both professionals and amateurs.
“The BlackSeaRama team worked hard to continue the tradition and provide a unique experience at the signature Gary Player 36 holes Black Sea coastal venue” Turley added.
The 3rd BlackSeaRama “POK Doverie” Pro-Am is open to a maximum of 44 teams (1 Professional and 3 Amateurs) who will compete over 54 holes stableford with the best two scores from the team of four to count on each hole.
Each team will play 18 holes on Wednesday 27th, 18 holes on Friday 29th and a further 18 holes on Saturday 30th July. Professionals will play alongside their amateurs also competing in a 54 hole stroke play tournament. The prize fund for the professionals is €20,000 (based on a minimum entry of 20 professionals/teams)
The handicap limit for men is 28 and 36 for ladies with a 3/4 allowance in the pro-am and full allowance in the individual competition. Entries will be allocated on a first-come-first- served basis.
– 6 nights accommodation with breakfast included
– 1 practice day green fee at BlackSeaRama
– 1 challenge day green fee at Thracian Cliffs
– 3 tournament days green fees at BlackSeaRama
– 1 welcome cocktail
– 3 lunches
– 1 prize giving ceremony with Gala Dinner
Entry: €1,000 per amateur
Further details can be found shortly on the BlackSeaRama website – www.blacksearama.com or by e-mailing Neil Turley at firstname.lastname@example.org